Making Products Accessible to Everyone


Pete DV, an Adobe Accessibility Project Manager, used to walk by the Adobe building in San Jose, California, on the way to the Center of Performing Arts with his wife. “We’d say, ‘boy, wouldn’t it be nice if I could work there?’”

Now, after eight years at the company he once dreamed of working for, Pete still seems just as excited about it. “When I got the job, I didn’t believe I was actually working for the company,” he says.

Pete, who has been visually impaired since birth, works on the Accessibility team, making sure that all products can be used by anyone with or without any kind of disability. He started out as a Quality Engineer on the Acrobat team and says a co-worker from a previous job suggested he get into Accessibility. “I knew the need was going to be there and I also felt that it would use what I already knew,” Pete says.

Now, he tests products and instructs product teams on how to make the products easier to use. “I get to do the work I really enjoy, which is working with the product teams,” he says. “I’ve definitely found my place here.”

Pete’s computer reads messages out loud to him, and he also uses braille to read incoming information. “Adobe was extremely accommodating,” he says. “My hiring manager, as it turns out, was in a wheelchair, and we hit it off very well. There wasn’t anything he didn’t do to make sure I had the things I needed.

“Getting around is not a big problem,” he says. “The challenges of getting around the Adobe campus are very minor. Security has bent over backwards any time I needed something.”

Pete says he had long admired Adobe for its product accessibility. “There’s still a lot to be done, but Adobe is working very hard,” he says. “The interest is there. They want to know and are reaching out to us. I really do feel Adobe is very strongly committed to accessibility.”

From his office, Pete can hear the roar of airplane engines as they soar towards Mineta San Jose International Airport, and says the planes are one of his favorite “perks” of the job. “If I could see, I probably would have been a pilot or an air traffic controller,” he says. “I love to fly, and I’ve got a special radio that picks up the communications from the control tower. I grab my lunch and sit outside for 15-20 minutes any day I can.”

Asked to describe Adobe in one word, Pete wrestles with the thought for a moment. “That’s really hard,” he says. “But ‘fabulous’ keeps coming back and forth to mind. I’m very happy to be here and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”

Contributed by Rachel T., Employment Branding Intern, University of Texas